Deputy Minister Appointment
QUEEN'S PARK -- Premier Dalton McGuinty announced today the appointment of Matthew Mendelsohn as Deputy Minister for Democratic Renewal effective January 19, 2004.
Mr. Mendelsohn will be supporting the Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Democratic Renewal, Michael Bryant, in establishing the new Secretariat aimed at strengthening democracy in Ontario and achieving the government's democratic renewal agenda. In recent weeks, the government has acted on its commitments for democratic renewal by introducing several pieces of legislation that, if passed, would:
- Extend the provisions of the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act to Hydro One and Ontario Power Generation;
- Amend a regulation of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to extend its provisions to the provincial hydro companies;
- Amend the Executive Council Act to require Cabinet Ministers to attend Question Period on at least two-thirds of days on which the Legislature holds routine proceedings;
- Amend the Audit Act to grant additional powers to the Provincial Auditor (Auditor General) to conduct value-for-money audits of institutions in the broader public sector such as school boards, universities, colleges, hospitals and all Crown-controlled corporations; and
- Ban partisan government advertising under the Government Advertising Act.
The Democratic Renewal Secretariat will continue the government's democratic renewal plans by reaching out to Ontarians and engaging them in the most ambitious democratic renewal process in Ontario's history. This will include developing legislation for fixed election dates, looking for new ways of engaging young people in the democratic process, engaging in a public dialogue with Ontarians about electoral reform and campaign finance reform, creating new opportunities for Ontarians to participate in policy-making, and examining innovative election tools like Internet and telephone voting.
Mr. Mendelsohn, a prominent advocate of democratic reform, is highly regarded and extremely well qualified to assume the new responsibilities. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Director of the Canadian Opinion Research Archive at Queen's University in Kingston. He has also worked as a Senior Advisor with Intergovernmental Affairs, Privy Council Office, Government of Canada.
Mr. Mendelsohn has a BA Honours in politicial science from McGill University and a PhD in political science from l'Université de Montréal.